Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms and Treatment

If you or someone you know is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, you’re not alone.  Each year, out of 100,000 people, 54 suffer from this specific type of arthritis alone.  This isn’t a disease without hope. Although there is no formal cure, there are many different types of rheumatoid arthritis treatments used to make many of the symptoms fade.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis aren’t always easy to spot. Many times, patients go undiagnosed because they don’t feel like their symptoms are severe enough to be taken to the doctor. Some symptoms come and go as they please, depending on how severe the inflammation in your tissue and joints are.

Once your body tissue becomes inflamed, rheumatoid arthritis becomes active.  When the inflammation diminishes, the disease then goes into remission, where symptoms fade.  Then when the inflammation occurs again, so do the symptoms.  This important factor makes rheumatoid arthritis go easily undiagnosed because its victims are constantly feeling bad and then better.

Most people affected by rheumatoid arthritis complain of a pain in their wrists or hands. This makes opening things like pickle jars or peanut butter containers extremely painful.  It also makes it difficult to turn doorknobs without feeling a sharp pain in your knuckles.

On rare occasions, rheumatoid arthritis can affect the joint that’s in charge of tightening your vocal cords in order to change the tone of your voice.  Once that joint is inflamed, it most likely results in hoarseness of the voice or even loss of voice altogether.

While active, symptoms include, but are not limited to, fever, stiffness, muscle aches, joint aches, lack of appetite, decrease energy, fatigue, swollen joints, or a redness of the skin around the affected joint.

The reason for the soreness and redness is due to the lining of tissue around the affected joint.  When the tissue becomes inflamed again, your body produces excess amounts of something called synovial fluid (also known as joint fluid).  This makes your joints thicken with inflammation and makes your joints sore and red.

As far as treatments go, there is no formal cure – but fortunately in the past few years, scientists have been making significant steps toward a viable treatment.  There may be some types of drugs out there that claim to cure rheumatoid arthritis, but sadly, most of them don’t work.

Many doctors will be able to provide you with a list of things you can do to decrease the severity of the symptoms, so don’t be afraid to ask. Most doctors will recommend taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Medipren, or Ibuprofen.  All of those medications are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (also known as NSAIDs).  Don’t take any of these medications without permission from your physician.

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